Pirate Shirt | Simplicity Pattern 4923

Video Notes:

In this video, I make the pirate shirt from Simplicity pattern 4923.

IG: barrowsandwights

Transcripts for videos are available on my website.


Simplicity Pattern #4923 (XS,S,M)

White Shirt:
– White cotton fabric
– 2 plastic buttons
– White thread
– 1/8″ white cotton tape for shirt ties

Lacy Vampire Shirt:
– Black cotton bedsheet
– Red rose lace (leftover yardage)
– 2 clear plastic buttons for shirt cuffs
– 2 clear plastic buttons for removable cuff ruffles
– 1/4″ black ribbon for shirt ties


Title Card:
Photo by Anton Atanasov

Logo designed and drawn by A.R. Gergler

Background Music:

Music: Open Sea (Folk) by Frank Schroeter
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/9395-open-sea-folk
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Music: Achaidh Cheide by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/3338-achaidh-cheide
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Music: Adventure [Metal Version] by Alexander Nakarada
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/10357-adventure-metal-version
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

End Screen:
Photo by Anton Atanasov


[Jaunty nautical music]

Hello! I’m Adrian. Welcome to Barrows & Wights. My pronouns are he/them and this video is tackling this Simplicity pirate shirt pattern.

I’ve had this pattern since the early 2000s back when Pirates of the Caribbean first came out because pirates, and I’ve only ever made sort of the coat from this for a Jack Sparrow Halloween costume/cosplay. I don’t think I actually did any sewing on that project except the buttons because I think my mom actually pieced the coat together. I just cut everything out and picked the fabric and all that. So this pattern has not really been used
very much. I figured might as well give it a go.

I have measured the pattern pieces to figure out how big this shirt is actually going to be once you factor in seam allowance and all that because I’ve had this since the early 2000s, when I was in high school. I’m no longer the size that I was in high school. Uh this version is the size extra small/small and medium. Luckily the medium is big enough. If I did my math correctly, the medium should have a finished chest measurement 56 inches which is more than enough for me. I don’t have to alter any of these pieces as far as I know. I will be making this shirt out of this white cotton fabric that I inherited from my grandmother and that’s it.

[Music with a nautical theme featuring guitar and woodwinds]

I’m going to do view e of the shirt which- if my camera will focus that closely, yes – has a singular tie at the neck, is otherwise fairly plain. I’m not doing the ruffled cuffs so I’m just doing a plain cuff at the end of the
sleeve. So I’ve cut out all of my pieces- cuff, collar, facing, sleeve, front, and back. And I thought these shapes look awfully familiar, not just because I’ve made shirts before, but if you’ve seen my video about all the shirts that I’m planning to make, I include a recreation of a Renaissance Faire shirt that I already own. Which looks like this.

[magical twinkling sound]

Basically rectangular body pieces, basically rectangular body pieces. There is a slight curve here at the shoulder
that I don’t have from the schematic I took of my existing shirt, but the sleeve with the built-in gusset, sleeve
with a built-in gusset. Rectangles Center front placket opening thing. This is basically my Ren Faire shirt.
So I don’t think I’m going to be recreating my Ren Faire shirt anytime soon if this pattern works out. Because if this pattern works out, I already have all of the pieces to recreate that shirt with some tweaking here and there.
I thought it might be kind of redundant to do this pirate shirt and also my Ren Faire shirt on the channel, but this really just kind of cements the fact that they’re basically the same shirt. And it’s likely the manufacturer
of that Renaissance Faire shirt and used a very similar pattern to this commercial pirate shirt pattern. You never know what you’re going to learn until you actually start doing the thing.

Ugh, it’s so warm in here. I’m- I’m stuck I’m stuck to the pattern, okay. Now I gotta get up off the floor.


It’s warmer than I thought it was going to be. So I have cut out all of my pattern pieces. I have made all the markings I need to by clipping notches and marking um any points with blue Frixion pen. These pens have heat erasable ink which erase pretty cleanly, um especially on light fabrics because it erases into a kind of not quite
clear, but like a white clear ink.

According to my directions for shirts d and e, which reminder that I’m not doing the false cravat thing in the front and I’m not doing the frilly shirt cuffs. The first step is to edge finish edges without large dots. I’m assuming that’s for the fake cravat and the frilly edge cuffs because I don’t know what edges otherwise would need
to be finished beforehand? Unless you wanted to surge all of your seam allowances or zigzag them or whatever. I’m not about to do that at this point.

And then next it wants us to continue on to do the front facing for the opening, which is this little piece right here to the front of the shirt. I guess you could also finish the edges of three of these sides, but I’m going to do that later.

Also I’m going slightly off book here because of the ties of the collar. I don’t want them up at the top. I kind of want them midway down the uh front slit in the shirt just because I feel like that would be more useful to me. I have some really thin- where is it?

I have some of this very thin sort of tape that I’m gonna use for the ties in the middle. I’m going to cut a length of it double the length I want for the ties. I’m just going to lay it across where I’m going to do my stitching lines for the front facing. This way I don’t have to fuss with two different pieces. It’ll be sewn into the open facing at the place where I wanted and it’ll be secured that way. I don’t have to fuss with it after I sew in the facing. If that makes sense? Maybe. We’ll see if I can show that on camera sufficiently.


The directions have you do a quarter inch single turned hem on this facing and then have you sort of tack down the top, but doesn’t include any directions for actually securing these the outer edges of the facing down. Pin, stitch along stitching lines, slash between the stitching, trim corners, turn inside face neck edges, stitch front close to facing seam- which is here- and then attach the cord. So it doesn’t actually have you securing this down in any way. What I have done is I’ve just basted it down with some really weirdly thin polyester thread and later when I’m sort of done with the machine stitching on this, I’ll go in and whip stitch on the inside this down.

Yes, my machine tension is slightly off for this fabric. I could have also probably done a larger stitch length on this, but I don’t feel like fussing with it because I know I’ll just fuss with it for 10,000 years. So better it’d be slightly imperfect and finished than never started at all.

Also I should note that this little corner down here is the freaking worst to get to lay flat. I ended up hand stitching around here. Those are little hand stitches because my machine did not like going around that corner and I wasn’t going to spend forever trying to get that done. So this is low enough on the neck of this shirt that uh if I’m ever wearing this in public, this part will not be visible. It will be beneath a vest so that’s just for my own peace of mind so that there aren’t any weird puckers here. There we go on to the rest of the assembly.


Hi. It is Sunday morning. If it wasn’t clear from previous clips, I did all of the machine sewing on this shirt on Saturday. Sunday morning we lost power for a little while there, so I actually got done all of the hand sewing I needed to do on this project, which was interior- oh the that’s blowing out- Interior of the cuffs, the collar, and the facing.

The directions do not have any recommendations or directions for seam finishing inside of the shirt. Most modern patterns don’t. I’m not going to worry about it right now. Usually what I end up doing if I want to seam finish these sort of modern patterns, I just fold in the two seams and whip stitch where the folds meet because the
seam allowances are so large. I’m sure this technique has a name. I don’t know what it is, but it basically mimics like a French seam so that all the raw edges are tucked away inside.

Let’s see how this shirt turned out.

So I believe I said when I started this video uh this is the size medium for the Simplicity Pirate Pattern for-
I don’t know where anything is right now. So my calculations say that this should be approximately 56 inches uh finished body circumference. Let’s see if I can get this on without disturbing the microphone too much.

So here is the finished shirt. As you can see, plenty roomy. Also these sleeves are quite voluminous. I could actually um do with these being a little less voluminous, but that’s a problem for another day. I am really glad
I changed where the tie placement is for the sort of V-neck because this is like romance novel levels of deep V.
So having the tie here will at least help anchor that for me.

It’s actually a pretty good length. I was worried about it being a little short, but the back is longer than the front. It’s got a split hem. Nice and comfy, fits over this t-shirt no problem. I’m gonna put on my recently recreated Ren Faire vest just to get an idea of how this particular shirt will look with the Ren Faire vest on.

Okay so here it is. Obviously I won’t be wearing this t-shirt underneath it, but that looks pretty good from where I’m standing. Um obviously I’ve tucked it into my jeans or whatnot, but nice lightweight cotton from Grandma stash. Um it compresses down under the vest very nicely. Sometimes fabrics get bunched up weird. This one kind of, you know ,it compresses down without folding weird or being uncomfortable.

Um yes. So I’m going to consider this project a success and if you want to make one of these shirts but don’t want to draft your own pattern, getting your hands on this guy is actually pretty well worth it. Just watch the sizing and the finished measurements, but I guess that’s kind of general advice for modern patterns because they build a lot of ease in. Luckily with a shirt like this, that’s fine.

Overall I’d say the pattern directions were fairly simple to navigate, especially because I omitted the extra frills and bits. This was obviously much more of a basic construction, so some of the trickier directions or the
directions where I thought things were lacking didn’t apply to my particular version of the shirt. It was mostly just here’s where the seams need to go and this is the order that you make the shirt in. Which is a fairly standard order for making shirts, I think. This was a weekend make for me with pretty minimal distractions
for the majority of my sewing time. I didn’t find it to be a long or complicated process I do have obviously a bunch of other shirts under my belt so I am a little more practiced with sewing shirts and I’m familiar with Simplicity’s general order of operations that they like to use in their patterns. So take that as you will.

Overall, glad I did it. I have a new shirt. Huzzah. I’m ready for Ren Faire.

I was going to leave the video there, but a couple of months later I made some adjustments to the pattern and made a second shirt, I really wanted to get some actual finished object footage of both of these, so enjoy.

So that’s it. Thanks for watching. Goodbye.


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